CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee set a 58-year company sales record with the addition of 342,872 new members during 2003.

Despite a tough economic environment and amid the complexity of today’s health care market, a growing number of individuals and Tennessee businesses are choosing BlueCross to meet their health care needs. More than 15,000 businesses and their employees across the state are covered by a BlueCross insurance plan.

According to Joan Harp, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for BlueCross, Tennessee’s professional brokers and agents worked closely with business owners and benefits administrators to help them make informed decisions on the value and costs of their company’s health care plan.

Those informed decisions resulted in record sales of approximately 184,000 BlueCross contracts, surpassing all sales goals for 2003 and netting an 8.2 percent membership growth in private business enrollment.

“This record achievement clearly indicates the level of satisfaction our customers have with BlueCross,” said Harp. “By working with our brokers to address current market conditions and responding to our customers’ needs, we were able to achieve these historic results.”

Jim Gray, vice president of sales and account management at BlueCross, cited a diverse portfolio, innovative products and pricing, and exceptional service as additional factors contributing to the record sales year.

“Our growth has made BlueCross a more efficient company and that will have direct benefits to our customers in both quality and affordability,” said Gray. “As we continue to address the challenges of health care financing and develop new solutions, we will find new ways to give even more Tennesseans a reason to choose Blue.”

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.